Working in customer service as a waiter can be a rewarding experience if a person excels in communication. Waiters have to have a specific set of skills, as well as responsibilities to ensure their customers have the best possible experience during their outing.  

With the specific skillset that waiters need to have, let’s take a look at some of the responsibilities, first.

Waiter Responsibilities

With more than 2 million people in the food industry, specifically waiters, it is worth mentioning the responsibilities the waiters have!  

Welcoming guests and introducing yourself

After the guests have been seated, the waiter should approach the table where their customers are sitting and introduce themselves. One of the waiter’s duties is to be welcoming and warm and to create a positive atmosphere.

Another way to create a positive atmosphere is to accurately and quickly read the customers and to know exactly the approach to give. Some guests might not like an overly bubbly personality. A good waiter will adjust their approach to match the table’s energy.

Taking Customer’s Orders

Another responsibility of the waiter is to know the menu. On top of that, waiters should know the details of every dish, including the ingredients and possible allergens.

Waiters should also be able to make a recommendation to their customers based on the information the customers are willing to provide.

When everyone is happy with what they ordered at the table, the waiter then gives those orders back to the kitchen for the meals to be prepared and served.

Serving Food And Beverages

Apart from taking the orders and putting them in, the waiter’s duties include getting the food to the table. Some of the dishes take longer to make than others, but the table should always get their order at once. The waiter should know how long the whole order will take and promptly take it to their table.


Remember, in bigger restaurants, a waiter sometimes has more than ten tables to serve, and remembering everything is a task! So, next time you go to a restaurant and a server is taking their time, cut them some slack!

Checking Up On Their Customers

Once the food has reached the table, the server should occasionally check on the table to see if everything is in order. If there is a complaint, the server has to find the best solution and offer it to the customer.

Checking the table can sometimes irk the customers, but it is the waiter’s best intention to make sure that their evening is running smoothly. If you need something, just get the server’s attention and ask!

Getting The Check

Once everyone has finished their meal and drinks, they can ask for a check. The waiter then brings the check with the total and starts the payment processing. After the bill has been settled, the waiter makes sure once again that everyone has had a positive experience.

Waiter Skills

After discussing in detail some of the responsibilities of a waiter, let’s see what exactly a waiter needs to know to do their job well.

Strong Communication Skills

Waiters need to know how to communicate clearly, both in relaying and receiving messages.

Clear communication also requires clear and loud enough speech, with no (or minimal) speech impediments. The customers should be able to understand the waiter and maintain a flow of conversation easily.

Additionally, if the waiter does not understand what the customers are trying to order, they should ask clarifying questions to avoid miscommunication.


As mentioned, sometimes waiters need to juggle multiple tables and guests, keeping in mind everything everyone ordered. They need to remember everything to maintain the flow of taking food to the tables, and noticing how fast the drinks are being drunk.

Attention To Detail

Several things should be listed under ‘Attention to detail’. For example, the waiter should be able to accurately assess the table’s energy and match it with the same one. Some guests do not like to be joked with, but some really enjoy it. The waiter should know how to proceed in the first 2 sentences of conversation with the table.


Additionally, the waiter should also be able to memorize and list the items on the menu and alert the guests of any possible food allergies. In reality, any good waiter asks their table if there are any food aversions or allergies before taking their orders. That way, it allows the guests to choose something safe for them.

Physical Stamina

Being a waiter is physically demanding. Some waiters spend their entire shifts (and sometimes even double shifts) on their feet. Being able to withstand walking several miles per shift is not something everyone would be able (or willing) to do.


Every waiter should always be professional. Some guests will be rude, some will intentionally try to offend or hurt waiters. In escalated situations like those, the waiter should never enter the conflict or taunt the guests but call the manager and not engage.


Being a waiter is one of the toughest, most demanding jobs in customer service. It requires great ‘reading people’ skill, being quick on your feet, being absolutely aware of everything going on around you and responding accordingly. On top of all that, waiters are on their feet all day.

Next time you go to get dinner, make sure to tip your waiter well! They deserve it!